Flying Scotsman: Tim Visser takes some time out for a lowdown on life off the rugby pitch

Scotland’s wing on Rees, roundabouts and revenge. By Sarah Mockford

RUGBY WORLD: Who would play you in a film of your life?

TIM VISSER: The guy from The Hangover. Bradley Cooper. I think he’s brilliant and when I first arrived at Newcastle I had hair like him.

RW: Any nicknames?

TV: Vis. Scotland’s old defence coach Graham Steadman thought my name was Billy, so people called me that. We now have Billy McGinty as a coach, so that’s stopped.

RW: What do they call your brother, Sep?

TV: Mini Vis or Young Vis. He says they call him Justin Credible!

RW: What’s your guilty pleasure?

TV: Domino’s Pizza. I try to stay away from it, but after a game at the weekend I get one and if you order by phone they then start sending you texts with deals. On Tuesdays they do two for one and it’s really hard not to be tempted.

RW: Any phobias?

TV: I hate snakes – they are horrible. My brother is scared of sharks.

RW: And bugbears?

TV: Drivers, especially in the UK. People don’t understand roundabouts over here. They get in the wrong lane or don’t look. My wife is really bad, so I always have to drive. Roundabouts have been a big part of the traffic system in Holland for a long time, so people seem to understand them better over there.

RW: If you could have one superpower, what would it be and why?

TV: Invisibility. I could do incredible stuff and get away with it. I could just stand by my brother’s bed as he was going to sleep, then become visible and scare him.

RW: Any superstitions?

TV: I don’t like to shave before a game and I don’t like to be the last out of the changing rooms.

RW: What’s the funniest thing you’ve heard on the pitch?

TV: I played with Mike McCarthy at Newcastle and he makes funny noises on the pitch. Even now playing against him, I can hear him squawking – anything to throw off the opposition. Whether it’s ADHD or some sort of disorder – he’s just so weird! He’s a great guy to be around.

RW: Who are the jokers in the squad?

TV: At Edinburgh, Richie Rees is a 29-year-old in a 12-year-old’s body with a 15-year-old’s craic! He never stops. In the Scotland squad, Ryan Grant is quite funny. He’s very dry.

RW: What about practical jokes?

TV: Netani Talei is always doing stuff  – tying shoelaces together, hiding people’s clothes in the ceiling space, letting tyres down. Once he’d tied the laces together so tight that my boots broke, so I took his scrum cap and cut a hole in the top. He ran out for training with a bit of his Afro sticking out of the top! When he realised he wasn’t amused – it was his lucky scrum cap!

RW: What would be your specialist subject on Mastermind?

TV: Nineties music. When you have to sing on the bus, my go-to tune is by the Backstreet Boys – I Want It That Way. It’s the only song I can remember the words to.

RW: Who’d you like to be stuck in a lift with?

TV: I don’t think I’d like to be stuck in a lift with anybody – definitely not the front-row boys. Geoff Cross is quite sweaty and he’s touchy-feely.

RW: What’s the silliest thing you’ve bought?

TV: A guitar because I’ve never learned to play it. I obviously don’t like it or I’d get into it. I also bought my wife a Yorkshire terrier, which is just a ball of fur. I’ve got a German shepherd- cross and if I walk them together it looks strange.

RW: Who are your best and worst room-mates?

TV: The best is Nick De Luca – we’re on the same level and chill out. The worst is Geoff Cross. I love him but he can be too much. He’ll strip naked and lie on his bed – or worse, lie on your bed.

RW: How would you like to be remembered?

TV: As a great finisher – it’s probably the only way I’m likely to be remembered!


This article appeared in the December 2012 issue of Rugby World Magazine.

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